December is here, and CBR is back again with a roundup of the biggest video game releases that will be hitting store shelves this month. After the veritable feast that was November, this month is a bit of a famine. Most of the bigger releases for 2008 are already out, but here are a few noteworthy games that will be arriving in December, just in time to make it onto holiday wish lists.
As always, please keep in mind that the list is not inclusive of every release for a given month, release dates are always subject to change, and some games release on certain platforms before others. Now let's take a look at December's stocking stuffers.
Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon (Xbox 360) - December 1 - Website
The Destroy All Humans series follows the adventures of Crypto, an alien who needs to harvest DNA from humans in order to save his own race from extinction. Using mental abilities like hypnosis and telekinesis as well as a variety of weapons, players guide Crypto through an open world full of destructible environments. This latest chapter in the series takes place in the 1970's and begins with Crypto having opened a casino. His business comes under attack from both the mafia and an alien enemy from his homeworld. To battle them, Crypto studies with an alien Kung Fu master and gains new powers that will aid him in saving his race once again.
Prince of Persia (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360) - December 2 - Website
The latest entry in the franchise features a new graphical style, a new combat system and a new Prince. The story revolves around an ancient god of darkness that is spreading corruption throughout the land. The Prince and his new female partner Elika must work together to defeat the dark god. Gameplay will feature the same kind of acrobatics and puzzle solving that the series is known for, as well as introduce an open-world aspect that will allow players to explore the game world however they like.
Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi (DS)--December 2 - Website
When a meteorite crashes on earth, the space dust it gives off causes drastic changes in the surrounding plant life. Fungi gain the ability to think, walk and talk, and soon start to form tribal societies. "Rise of the Fungi" comprises the first half of a story that is told through two games, and is the prequel for The Spore Wars, which is being released for the Wii. The gameplay is a mixture of platforming and puzzle solving, and players will have the option of using stylus controls or not.
Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars (Wii)--December 2 - Website
Picking up where "Rise of the Fungi" left off, "The Spore Wars" deals with a civil war that has broken out among the fungi. Players will take on the role of Pax, a mushroom who possesses psychic abilities and must fashion tools and weapons from household items like match sticks and corn holders. Much like "Rise of the Fungi," The gameplay involves puzzle solving and platforming, and mixes in some motion controls during combat. Music fans might also be interested to know that bassist Les Claypool created music for the game.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2) - December 9 - Website
The follow-up to last year's critically acclaimed "Persona 3," this game has players taking on the role of a high school student who battles shadow creatures that only appear during a certain time in the midnight hour. The game takes place in a small rural town, as opposed to the city-based setting of the previous game. The small town has been affected by a series of murders, which may be linked to a mysterious fog and a TV station that only comes on at a certain time of night.
Gameplay involves players using "Personas," beings that are summoned to fight on behalf of the characters, and there are social aspects of the game that will enable players to unlock new Personas to fight for them.
Rise of the Argonauts (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360) - December 16 - Website
When the Greek king Jason's wife is murdered, he sets out on an epic quest to find the Golden Fleece, an artifact with the power to bring his wife back from the dead. Along the way he'll recruit the Argonauts to help him, which include Heracles, Achilles, Perseus, Pan and more. The gameplay is a mix of combat and role-playing. Players will be able to fight with Jason and one of the Argonauts at any given time. Each of the Argonauts has unique abilities, and Jason will gain special abilities based on what gods show him favor.
Well, that about wraps it up--wait, that's it?
Unfortunately, yes. There's a slight chance a few more gems may hit the shelves before the end of December, as many developers still list this month as their target for release, but most are unconfirmed. Looking on the bright side however, the lack of games this month should give you a little time to catch up on the pile of games you still haven't gotten to from October and November.
If we skipped your most anticipated game of the month, head on over to the boards and let us know! And remember to keep checking CBR for exclusive interviews with publishers and developers. Until next month, happy holidays and good gaming!